Some people have an aversion to green vegetables because they were forced to eat soggy greens when they were children. This is unfortunate, but as adults you can cook your own to perfection and enjoy the flavor. It seems that they are an acquired taste. However, green vegetables in particular are very good for our health as they contain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. The superveg are broccoli and other members of the Brassica family.
Broccoli has been called the “liver of vegetables” because it is rich in iron and contains minerals which have antioxidant properties which help regulate blood pressure and help to lower cholesterol levels.
2. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are also well up in the rankings of health giving foods and although you may not like them boiled, there are many interesting recipes for them including Polonaise which goes some way to disguising their strong flavour.
These really are good for the eyes, and your mother wasn’t far wrong when she told you they would help you see in the dark. These days you can drink carrot juice which comes from black carrots or red ones as well as the usual orange variety. Carrots are great in stews with other root vegetables and can also be grated into salads. If you want a healthy snack, eat a raw carrot.
Turnips are not just good in stews and winter casseroles. They can be eaten in salads with grated carrot and fresh dates. If you have a burning sensation in the soles of your feet in winter, then you should boil turnips and soak your feet in the water. If this doesn’t relieve the sensation then you can make a paste with them and apply this to your feet as a salve.
Swede are underrated, but go well with turnips and carrots in a winter vegetable stew and as they can be stored, they are useful to keep in the kitchen in case you get snowed in. They can be boiled and then mashed with potatoes and served with a tasty brown gravy or a warming side dish. The Scots call these neeps and serve them on Burn’s Night along with haggis and whisky.
6. Mooli radishes
Mooli radishes look like huge white carrots, but have a peppery flavour and are good grated in savoury winter pancakes. They are delicious in salads or even on their own, eaten raw, but be warned, they are a diuretic, so good to get rid of excess water in the body. In the US these are called Daikon radish. In Pakistan and India where they grow prolifically and can be seen in huge mounds in vegetable shops and on stalls, people say that if you eat some mooli every day when they are in season you will not be ill for the whole year.
Potatoes are staples which are extremely versatile. They can be baked in their skins, roasted with meat, fried, cooked in a bonfire, boiled and mashed. The sweet potato is high in vitamin and mineral content and is deliciously different to the common or garden potato. You can cook them in the same way, and as they contain simple sugars they can be eaten safely by diabetics too.
These add flavour to every dish and store well. If you have never tried French Onion Soup you really should. It’s a great way to savour the flavour of the onion. Onions are very good for our health too, boosting the immune system and helping to prevent colds and flu.
You may be averse to the thought of the smell on your breath after eating garlic, but you can always eat parsley to get rid of that problem. A couple of cloves of garlic give food an extra flavour and baked bulbs of garlic are a delight. Two or three cloves of garlic give any dish an extra dimension. The Italians tend not to use onions and garlic together, but they work very well in tandem. If a dish has onions in it, then garlic is a welcome addition. Garlic is also useful in preventing colds and flu, and in the past it was used to ward off vampires and spells. Even today some elderly Greeks take a clove of garlic out with them as protection against the evil eye.
This can be parboiled and added to salads as well as being boiled and served with Sunday lunch. In cheese sauce they make a perfect lunchtime dish served with a baked potato.